Bell takes Cup pole in Kansas

Christopher Bell will lead the NASCAR Cup Series field to green at Kansas Speedway.

For the third time in the opening 13 races of the 2022 season, Bell topped the charts in the final round of qualifying for the AdventHealth 400. The Oklahoman laid down a quick speed of 179.575mph (30.071s) as the final qualifier to deny Tyler Reddick his first pole of the year.

Bell will hope to do more with the top starting spot than he has in his prior two attempts this season. The three-time Chili Bowl Nationals winner finished 10th after starting first at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and came home 22nd from the pole at Talladega Superspeedway.

Last fall’s Kansas winner, Kyle Larson, ended the day third. Austin Cindric was the quickest Ford in fourth, serving as the only Team Penske driver to avoid issues after both Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano suffered flat left-rear tires in practice.

Kurt Busch completed the top-five after leading the way in practice. Just behind him in sixth was brother Kyle, the defending spring race winner. Aric Almirola, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr. and Blaney rounded out the top 10.

Reddick was the quickest qualifier in Group A, inching ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex and Kyle Busch with a 177.702mph lap. Truex followed at 177.264mph with Busch the only other driver above a 177mph average (177.072mph).

Larson (176.962mph) and Blaney (176.736mph) were the final two to advance.

Dover Motor Speedway winner Chase Elliott came just 0.016s shy of moving on in sixth, but no one else was within 0.1s of the top-five. Denny Hamlin was a distant seventh after suffering a flat tire in the preceding practice session. He was followed closely by Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon and Erik Jones to wrap up the top 10.

Chris Buescher’s No. 17 RFK Racing team didn’t participate in the qualifying session after a practice crash that forced Buescher to a backup car for Sunday’s race.

Bell led the way on Group B with a 179.527mph lap, continuing the trend of strong JGR performances from the opening group. He was more than a quarter-second clear of second-place Bowman. Kurt Busch, Almirola and Cindric were the final ones to advance.

Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain came just 0.006s short of moving on in sixth. He was followed by Phoenix Raceway victor Chase Briscoe, fellow two-time winner William Byron, Justin Haley and Cole Custer to complete the top 10.

Like Buescher in Group A, Logano and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. failed to participate in the qualifying session after suffering spins with flat left-rear tires in practice.

There were no flat tires or other issues for the field in qualifying after the messy practice that preceded it.

FULL LINEUP

UP NEXT: The AdventHealth 400 at 3:00 p.m. ET Sunday.